Purnell's Head of School named LDA's Educator of the Year
Purnell School

The Sam Kirk Educator of the Year Award is given annually by the Learning Disabilities Association of America to "an educator who has made outstanding contributions to the education of persons with learning disabilities."


Since her time as a graduate student at Teachers College, she has been steadfast in her belief that children with learning disabilities could accomplish anything that anyone else could accomplish. She had a strengths-based view of students with learning disabilities long before that view became popular, and she saw the barriers to success as a failure of our education system and a product of our limitations as teachers. If our students learned differently, it was clear to Anne, we would have to teach differently.

Since then, Anne has worked throughout her career to be an advocate for students with learning differences. Before joining the Purnell community, she was a Learning Specialist at the Chapin School in Manhattan and an adjunct lecturer of learning differences and special education law at CUNY Hunter College and at Teachers College, Columbia University.

Anne was installed as the 8th Head of School at Purnell in June 2018. During her time here, she established the Learning & Wellness Department, solidified our mission to support diverse learners, and has overseen the growth of both academic and social-emotional supports, as well as a vibrant student life experience on campus.

The award will be presented to Anne on February 20, 2019, at the LDA Annual Conference in Fort Worth, Texas.